Tuesday, 9 February 2010

You're all above the Surface

So the Surface Unsigned Festival is about to roll into town again. Their unsavoury business practices and litigious trigger finger have been well documented elsewhere on the web - just work your google on your internet machine and you'll see what I mean. What I will say to anyone considering getting involved with this, or any other 'pay to play' gig scenario (where you are required to either buy a minimum number of tickets upfront, or guarantee a minimum number of punters, on pain of making up the shortfall yourselves) is, in a word, avoid.

It's a fact of life that creative people are often bad at marketing themselves. Two different skill sets you see. In a nutshell, it's not a musician's job to promote gigs and sell tickets. Doesn't matter if you're in an unsigned band or Kasabian, the same template applies. A musician's job is to bring the tunes, not a minimum 50 mates. There are plenty of other things for the gigging muso to worry about, and if the only people you play to time and time again are the same group of your friends and family, you've got little to no chance of actually acheiving any exposure. Obviously a group of friendly faces can help boost your confidence come showtime, but at the end of the day, why should you do someone else's work for them as well as your own?

I don't really want to get into naming and shaming (if pushed I will, privately, though) practicers of such an abhorrent philosophy, anyone who's been around the scene long enough will know who they are anyway.

I will however, make a note of the people who care enough about making their event a success to actually promote said event rather than screw bands for easy cash. One such beacon of hope is Tony Thornborough of Helmets4Men. Our recent gig at Islington Mill was an absolute stonker, with great bands and a great crowd who paid a reasonable price and weren't solely consisting of mates of ours or the other bands. We took a fair few with us, but gained a few fans on the night too. So Tony, we salute you! More like this, please. You can read a review of the gig here.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

New blog!

This is a brand new blog. I've tried to blog before, but couldn't be bothered keeping it up. So I deleted the old one and resolved with myself to do it with a bit more frequency.

I wanted to call it 'Freedom in Exile', (without quite remembering where I've heard it before) on account of me being a Mancunian living in Salford, a quick google search revealed that it is, in fact, the title of the Dalai Lama's autobiography. Great start, trading off the leader of one of the biggest political struggles of recent times. So I decided at that point to go for something else, even if it is slightly less catchy.